Styleguide FOR

Bold, italics and underline


We don't use bold to format headings and subheadings; we use our heading styles. There's more guidance on how to use headings in writing for the web.

We sometimes use bold to emphasise key words, for example, at the start or middle of a long bullet point where a key word or words may otherwise get lost. For example:

There are many ways to relax and calm down. Some might be:

  • Breathing slowly – one technique is to breathe out for longer than you breathe in and then relax as you breathe out.

This type of emphasis should be used sparingly to avoid losing effect. Too many words in bold can also affect readability.

In a glossary, show the key word in bold and use an en dash before including the definition. For example:

Court of protection – has the power to make decisions about someone's capacity concerning financial matter and healthcare.


Use italics to refer to the title of a publication, article, film, play or event.


We don't use underlining – it looks like a hyperlink and can confuse people.